The 300-kilometre/116-square mile Caribbean island of Tobago offers many experiences for the discriminating diver. Just north of Venezuela and south of Grenada, this modest island is home to just over 50,000 people. But, its small size belies its reputation for big diving. With dive sites for every experience level, the healthy reefs feature both hard and soft coral – especially the area’s signature underwater sight of the world’s largest brain coral, which measures 4 by 5 metres/12 by 16 feet. But it isn’t just the reefs that will drive divers to distraction, as the mobile marine life is also varied and abundant.
Depth: Dive site average depths range from 9-18 metres/30 - 60 feet, although some are deeper.
Visibility: Visibility averages 12-21 metres/40-70 feet but can reach up to approximately 36 metres/120 feet during
the dry season.
Currents: Mild to strong.
Water Temperature: 79 - 82 F/26 - 28 C
Dive Season: All year but visibility can be lower in the rainy season.
Weather: The rainy season runs from July to December.
Access: Boat diving is the most common.
Skill Level: Beginning to advanced.
Courses: PADI Drift Diver
Scuba Gear: Tropical scuba equipment, dive computers and underwater photography equipment.
Length of Stay: 7-14 days.
Divers heading underwater off Tobago are in for a treat. From Hawksbill turtles to moray eels, octopuses to eagle rays, divers can interact with more than 300 species of marine life. In addition to the more common fish life, divers can also spot rare dwarf angel fish such as the Cherub and Flameback. The big animals are also often out in force and can include schooling pelagics like Horse Eyed Jacks and, from December to April, the chance for Scalloped Hammerhead shark sightings.
Most Famous Dive Site
On the Caribbean side: The MV Maverick, which ranges in depth from 18-30 metres/60-100 feet. This amazing wreck dive is intact and upright with lush growth and prolific marine life that can include turtles, eagle rays and cobia.
On the south side: Diver's Thirst and Diver's Dream, which range from 15-27 metres/50-90 feet and feature encrusting coral growth surrounded by dense fish schools, large nurse sharks, black tip reef sharks, manta rays, eagle rays, stingrays and turtles.
In Speyside: Keleston Drain, which ranges from 12-30 metres/40-100 feet and boasts a gigantic brain coral, moray eels, fish life and the chance to spot manta rays, barracuda and reef sharks.
Getting to the Site
Most dive sites are just 10-20 minutes via boat.
• Relax on one of the many beaches
• Visit the Main Ridge Rain Forest, voted the World’s Leading Eco Tourism Destination in 2006 by the World Travel Awards
• Go game fishing, golfing, mountain biking or sailing
• Bird watch at the Arnos Vale Hotel and spot some of Tobago’s more than 200 species
• Watch Leatherback turtles nest and hatch on the beach
• Visit the beautiful Pigeon Point Heritage Park
Language: The official language is English but many locals also speak a Creole that is a combination of patois and European languages.
Currency: The official currency is the TT Dollar.
Tipping: Most restaurants include a 10 percent service charge.
Transportation: Public transport is via public bus service, privately owned mini-buses known as maxi-taxis and privately owned cars.
Tobago Department of Tourism: www.visittobago.gov.tt/
Trinidad and Tobago – The Real Caribbean - www.gotrinidadandtobago.com/
Visa requirements: www.immigration.gov.tt
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